Archive for March, 2011

Post-surgery Report For Sarah *UPDATED*

Our champion Sarah came through the 15 1/2 hour brain surgery. They removed most of the tumor (99.9% certain it is benign), but had to leave small pieces on places they just couldn’t remove, like the brain stem. She will definitely lose hearing in her left ear (already had significant hearing loss there because of tumor) but as far as they could tell right now her facial nerves and swallowing reflex ‘looked good.’ This kind of tumor is very, very slow-growing so sometime in her life there may be further treatment needed, she will be monitored closely. Surgery took longer because the tumor was large and very difficult to remove, they also had some trouble with pressure building from the circulation of the spinal fluid which they resolved, but it slowed them down. The surgeon looked EXHAUSTED.

I cannot thank you enough for your love and prayers. The whole family could feel both of them throughout this long, long day. Please keep them up, she has a long recovery ahead of her.

I love you guys.

Here’s Liz’s report–( pretty much the same information, but thought I’d post it anyway)

Doctor just came in…..they got most of the tumor but there were some small pieces attached to the brain stem that they just could not get. They did not have to leave any chunks of tumor…..only small bits that may not have a blood supply. The tumor was very large and very stuck! He said the nerves look good but we won’t know for sure until she is awake and can be monitored. She will not need any further treatment at this time….Praise the Lord! She will be monitored in months and years to come and may require treatment in the future IF they detect any growth. This type of tumor is very slow growing. He does think that her hearing is lost in her left ear. Sarah was prepared for this possibility and will deal with it in her usual matter of fact way. Please continue to pray that all those facial nerves are unscathed and that Sarah’s recovery is smooth. We will get to see her soon!!!

****LATEST FROM LIZ as of this morning:

To God be the glory for the great things He has done! Sarah is still not completely out from under the anesthesia this morning BUT she can blink, she can open and shut her eyes, she can swallow and she can SMILE!!!!! These are all things that were in jeopardy from facial nerve damage. She is moving everything and groggily answering questions. One of the reasons that they were able to preserve her facial nerves is that the nerve around the tumor ran underneath the tumor instead of over the top of it……this only happens about 10% of the time. Our God is good and His hand has been on us throughout this ordeal….in both little details and big. I can’t wait to share all the ways we have seen His mercy this week. To my preschool parents….how can I ever thank you enough for the gift card to provide us with a hotel room on the hospital campus. We have a quiet refuge for the times between ICU visits and it means the world to us. Thanks to all of our family and friends who spent HOURS with us yesterday and to all of you who prayed without ceasing for our daughter. God has heard our petitions and has shown His mercy to Sarah and our family. We are going to rest now until we can see Sarah at 1PM….will update as we get information. Please continue to pray for her recovery!!!

From Sarah on the eve of her surgery- with thanks

I cannot thank all of you enough for the steady flow of prayers and good wishes that has been flooding ine– I’m sharing all of them with my whole family, and they can absolutely feel your support. You guys never cease to amaze me.

The surgery is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning round 7, CST and will probably go until 7 or 8 p.m. I will update as we get news.

This is a part of what Sarah posted on her Facebook page yesterday. I wanted to leave you guys with this as we face the surgery ahead, because it is such a clear window into my niece’s quiet strength and faith.  On behalf of all of us who love her, thank you again so very much for caring about her, too.

I’m in Benton, trying to manage pain and seizures until Tuesday, when I go back in for the big operation. It’s supposed to last between 12-13 hours, so it will be a long day. There’s a team of doctors who will work on me, since it’s such a long operation. There are lots of risks associated w/ the surgery, so that’s the new worry. They’ve said I was almost definitely be deaf in my left ear after the surgery, which I’m oddly ok with. It will take adjusting, but will be ok. Because of where the tumor is though, there is great chance of running into facial nerves. We’ve talked about everything from not being able to swallow or close my eye, facial drooping, not being able to smile, etc. This is by far my biggest worry. Something about having to see myself for the rest of my life, and not looking the same really bothers me. One of the big things I’m thankful for though is that I’m not stuck making hard choices right now, trying to decide what is the best route. There’s basically no options for me-here’s the problem, here’s what has to be done. So, I know I can’t spend my time and energy worrying about things. It’s going to be what it’s going to be. As much as it’s not what I would have planned for myself, it could always be worse. I’ve been overwhelmed by the love and support of others. I knew I had a lot of support, but wow! As someone who HATES doctors, I actually feel very calm about the operation. I know that’s because so many people are praying for me. God likes to often remind me that I’m not the boss, so maybe I was needing a little reminder :)

I should have been leaving today to head to Jamaica to get married, but God had other plans. That’s ok though, we will get there sometime. It’s funny that last week my concerns were getting through the week, working out a lot, tanning a lot, and getting ready for my wedding. This week, my concerns were staying alive and getting out of ICU. It’s crazy how things change! There’s still a lot of “what ifs” to get through, but that’s ok. I’m just ready to get this show on the road-as usual, I need to get better-I have lots on my “to-do” list!!


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